Progress on Relief for Puerto Rico and Other Citizen Organizing Victories This Week

Updated Thursday morning, 8:48 a.m. A White House spokesperson said this morning that the Jones Act will be waived for Puerto Rico, “effective immediately.” More than 444,000 had signed a petition that had been circulating since last weekend making the request.

#SendTheComfort Prompts FEMA Response

Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico when it made landfall on September 20th, leaving the U.S. territory of 3.4 million people without power on the flood damaged island and largely ignored until recent days.

Over the weekend — while the national narrative was largely focused on President Trump’s remarks targeting the National Football League and before Secretary Hillary Clinton mentioned it — Rick Trilsch, in Colorado, started a petition suggesting that the military send its US Navy Hospital Ship Comfort to Puerto Rico to provide assistance given that only 20 of the island’s hospitals are in working order, according to The New York Times. Those that are working have been badly “crippled by floods, damage and shortages of diesel.”

FEMA has announced that the Comfort will be sent to Puerto Rico soon — a decision that was certainly prompted by Rick’s petition, which has garnered the attention of 232,000 supporters.

“FEMA administrator Brock Long announced that the Comfort will be heading to Puerto Rico, but may not ship out for another week,” Rick wrote in an update to his supporters. “But it will get there. The Comfort will join a number of Navy ships already helping with the relief efforts. But bringing another hospital to the island, and a floating one at that, will help alleviate the the crush that Puerto Rico’s hospitals have been under since Maria hit the island.”

Rick also included links to some news resources that offer additional ways to help with relief for Puerto Rico in his update.

A No-Vote for Graham-Cassidy is a Win for Those Who Need Affordable Healthcare, Petition Starter Writes

From InStyle Magazine: “After losing her job and health insurance, Ceren Guven turned to Medicaid through Obamacare to manage two painful spinal conditions that have paralyzed parts of her body. Worried about the Graham-Cassidy bill, which would repeal Afforable Care Act, replacing it with legislation that would drain many states’ healthcare funding, she created a petition on urging senators to vote “no.” As of Tuesday, over 42,000 supporters have signed it — and the Senate announced it would not vote on the bill.

More than 300,000 ask the Trump administration to reconsider waiving the Jones Act, a crippling shipping restriction for Puerto Rico relief

As of Wednesday afternoon, 314,000 had signed a petition asking for the Jones Act to be waived so that important supplies can reach the devastated island. On Tuesday, the Trump administration said they would not waive the act, though the archaic law was waived in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Hill reported Wednesday that the Trump administration was evaluating the decision.

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